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Some things are just destined to be together. If you’re in the business of connecting with customers via email marketing, you know that this practice, when paired with social media, is right up there with mustard and ketchup, Abbott and Costello, and all the other great tandems found throughout history. To make this bond even stronger, here are some creative and effective ways to build a better relationship between your marketed messages and the social outreach that compliments these offerings.

Don’t Forget the Social Buttons

One of the easiest ways to fortify this connection is by giving your readers a chance to share the great deals found within your emails. As DJ Waldow of Social Media Examiner notes in his piece on the subject, simply dropping in a button for Twitter, Facebook, or any other relevant network into your messages is a powerful strategy that provides new reach to your deals and promos. With each share, like, favorite, and retweet, your email ends up in front of an entirely new audience. Incentivizing this social promotion with additional discounts and offers gives your audience even more reason to let their friends and family members in on your latest message.

Generate Social Opt-ins

Waldow goes on to point out that your social media accounts hold an untapped reservoir of new contact list members. Unfortunately, these ready and willing consumers simply don’t have an easy way to get in touch with your brand’s email marketing campaign. To put an end to this unfortunate circumstance, use Facebook’s built-in sign-up feature to generate an opt-in page. This way, as word spreads about your campaign and all the great savings that end up directly in shoppers’ inboxes, these social networkers will have easy access to your next round of emails and you’ll have a whole new set of members to add to your brand contact list.

Run a Social Tie-in Contest

Regardless of the medium, there’s one universal truth in the marketing world; customers love giveaways. For this very reason, social media expert Jeff Bulas suggests on his personal blog that brands looking to build better harmony between email and social marketing should operate a sweepstakes via these networks. The benefits of running this type of outreach program are numerous.

First, you’ll generate a major boost in your social network activity, which is never a bad thing. From here, expect to see your opt-in rates go up as word spreads to every corner of the web about the free stuff your brand is handing out. Naturally, you’ll need to offer a prize that’s worth the time and effort put forth by these customers when they sign up, but that’s the easy part. One look at your contact list after the fact will give you all the motivation you need to really knock their socks off with an amazing giveaway.

Put a Social Spin on Your Subject Lines

It’s amazing what a great subject line can do for your email marketing campaign. Obviously, we’ve talked about optimizing these headers at great length, but when it comes to integrating your social strategy, there’s still a few thoughts to cover. Amy Birch of Social Media Today helps get the discussion rolling by covering this very concept in her article detailing great integration examples.

In her piece, Birch notes that fashion retailer New Look pushed customer responsiveness through the roof by using the simple headline, “Are You a Social Butterfly?” With this simple, straightforward, and incredibly powerful headline guiding the way, New Look was able to let contact list members know right away that this brand’s message was all about looking good in person, as well as on social media. Even if you’re not in the fashion business, a smart headline oriented toward social media can really help your brand strut its stuff.

Know Which Platforms Matter Most

The final tip for complimenting your email strategy with powerful social media tactics comes from Pamella Neely of Web Marketing Today. Neely explains that to really build a dedicated following that boosts inbox open rates and shares, you need to know which platforms matter most to your audience. While some brands might say Facebook and Twitter are just fine and go from there, if you really want to make a splash, this path of least resistance simply isn’t good enough. With Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ all pulling plenty of subscribers, harnessing the power of all the options placed before your brand can really set it apart from the competition. If your organization can put this tip with the rest of what you’ve learned in this post, there’s nothing stopping your next email marketing campaign from reaching new heights, all thanks to a little help from the world of social media.

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At this point, you know that a good email or SMS campaign goes hand in hand with social media. Few one-two punches even come close to the kind of power this duo packs. However, are your only options really Facebook, Google+, and Twitter? While the “Big Three” might be the first that come to mind when you think of reaching out to fans on social media, the truth about your other options – and the stats backing up these claims – might surprise you. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how Instagram can compliment a strong SMS or Email marketing campaign, sending your brand influence through the roof.

The Power of Instagram

Before going any further, you’re probably wondering why anyone would dare to put Instagram in the same category as Facebook or the other leading networks. However, the truth is that Instagram is in a league of its own when it comes to making contact with customers. According to a recent report from marketing research firm Forrester, Instagram delivered 58 times more engagement for brands per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. To put it plainly, these two leading names aren’t even close when it comes to actually connecting and interacting with your audience.

For a little extra context, the report showcases a video posted by Red Bull, which received 2,600 likes on Facebook. Not bad, right? While that kind of engagement is nothing to scoff at, it definitely pales in comparison to the 36,000 likes the same video received on Instagram. In total, six of the seven platforms studied reported engagement rates below .1 percent, with Instagram easily outpaced the field, taking the lead at 4.21 percent.

Going Beyond Stats

While the stats are definitely eye-popping, the real power of this visually oriented social network is the ability to actually engage customers in a meaningful and interactive way. Instead of tired, generic posts that so many brands rely upon when posting to Facebook or Twitter, sharing on Instagram lets you express your brand image, story, and content in a more engaging and visually pleasing manner. This unique method of getting in contact with your customers is what truly makes connecting via Instagram so powerful. While generating high quality graphic content that relates to your latest round of email or SMS messages, or brand in general, might take a little extra work, the numbers don’t lie regarding how your audience responds to this kind of engagement.

Building an Instagram Strategy

So now that you’re up to speed with what you have to gain by incorporating Instagram into your social media game plan, it’s time to take a look at how to fit this network into your next campaign. To start, take advantage of the full service profile features to give your customers an idea of what your brand is all about. Much like Twitter and Facebook, incomplete profile information doesn’t come off as very professional, so make sure you give your audience all they need to know (and then some) to ensure they have the complete picture regarding your brand.

From here, engaging your customers with fun events and activities is a great way to drum up interest in your brand and even score some extra numbers and addresses for your contact lists. Offering contests that require user submissions, as well as featuring these members of your audience on a regular basis, can go a long way toward building a significant brand following on Instagram. Even doing something as simple as showing off a promo code you’d normally use for your email or SMS marketing initiatives every once in a while can give members of the network all the incentive they need to make stopping by your profile and checking out your latest uploads a part of their daily routine.

Looking to the Future

Of course, the biggest question surrounding a platform like Instagram is the concern that it is just a passing fad. While the likes of MySpace, Friendster, etc. all tell a cautionary tale about the viability of social networks, the fact that over 90 percent of Instagram’s 150 million (and growing) users are under the age of 35 bodes well for the long-term prospects of brand’s that plan on utilizing this platform in upcoming campaigns. Adding in that the mobile technology revolution is going nowhere anytime soon, it’s pretty safe to say that Instagram should definitely have at least a complimentary spot in your email and SMS initiatives for a long time to come.

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By now, you know that email marketing and social media are two peas in a pod when it comes to reaching out to your audience. Whether it’s one of the countless marketing blogs out there telling you how great these two are together or your own personal experience doing a little brand promotion work, it’s not exactly the best kept secret in the industry. However, what plenty of talking heads fail to cover is exactly how you can put this connection to good use and grow your email contact list without a lot of extra effort. Thankfully, all you need to do is take a few minutes and look over these must see tips to get the ball rolling on your next big email marketing push.

Use Facebook’s Built-in Apps to Make an Email Opt-in Form (and Don’t Forget to Promote It!)

One of the absolute best synergies between social media and email marketing comes from the biggest social platform in the world. As part of its extensive app library, Facebook gives your brand the opportunity to setup an email opt-in form right on your page. While this might not seem like much, think back to the last time you were browsing a page and had to click an external link to check out an article or sign-up for something; chances are you probably just kept scrolling down because you didn’t want to leave the Facebook page or app on your phone. Your customers have the same mindset, so make it easy on them with a sign-up sheet that keeps them on Facebook. Once you have it up and running, don’t forget to post about it so that it pops up in their newsfeeds.

Each Social Site Deserves a Little Extra Attention

In a world where everything is automated and lumped together for convenience, it’s easy to be lazy and approach your social media engagement in broad and generic strokes. So many platforms give you the ability to post to all sites at once, so why not do this and save a little time? While this sounds good at first, the reality is that different people prefer different networks, so using the same method to promote your list across all of them isn’t your best bet.

Much like your email templates that have links and icons for each network you post on, instead of just one option, your promotional messages should also mix things up to entice different portions of your audience. While this does mean that you’ll need to test and tweak the different parts of your posts to see what Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. viewers like, the sign-ups you get in return will make you happy you didn’t take the easy way out and just click “post to all.”

Free Stuff Is a Great Motivator

If after all this you’re still having trouble with sagging contact list numbers, don’t be afraid to do start handing out some freebies. While you might not want to make this your go to plan, it doesn’t hurt to have some giveaway ideas in store for the times when you need to inject some new life into your audience’s enthusiasm. After all, nothing gets the online crowd buzzing more than a post offering goodies or discounts to those who take a minute to sign-up. If you really want to go deep on this strategy, adding in a small bonus for those who like or retweet your offer will have it popping up on potential new customer newsfeeds in no time.

Give Your Users a Chance to Sound off

With the rest of the tips on this list focusing on how you can make the sign-up experience enticing for customers, this one shifts the balance of power in the other direction a little bit. Customers love giving feedback, so why not give them a chance to speak their minds and let your brand know exactly what they like and dislike about your email campaigns. It doesn’t have to be an open Facebook post or Google+ community discussion, but linking back to feedback forms and customer support email accounts on your social media pages offers a direct line to the people you’re trying to connect in the first place.

Don’t Forget the Secondary Networks

The final tip that can really grow your email list doesn’t have anything to do with Facebook or Twitter. While these guys are definitely the top dogs when it comes to social media, that doesn’t mean they are the only players in the game. Working with Pinterest, LinkedIn, and the other up and coming platforms can help you tap into a user base that might not connect very often on the bigger networks. Additionally, getting creative and doing things like saving your email offers as pins on Pinterest can help push your brand image ahead of the competition. When it comes to email marketing and social media, isn’t that where you want to be with your audience?

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It’s your brand’s worst nightmare: you drop a hefty chunk of your marketing budget onto a great SMS campaign, only to watch the bottom fall out as some new craze hits your target audience. If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you just might have this sinking feeling in your stomach after finding out that Facebook purchased WhatsApp – a peer-to-peer chat app that is massively popular. However, let’s hold off on a complete meltdown and look over some of the facts surrounding the deal, and what it means for connecting with your audience via text, before we start reading the last rites for SMS marketing.

The Skinny on Facebook’s Monster Purchase

The best place to start is with a good look at what went down. Facebook recently broke the news that it was purchasing WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. That little tidbit in and of itself is enough to make waves in any industry. However, with reactions ranging from “jaw-dropping” to breaking down the value of each WhatsApp employee ($345.5 million a pop, in case you were wondering), the story has spread like wildfire and taken on a life of its own. While getting caught up in this craze is definitely exciting, pumping the brakes a little bit and thinking things out will help you see that this deal is definitely big news in the mobile and social media sectors, but SMS marketing is still king in many ways.

What Does This Mean for SMS Marketing?

Because Facebook monetizes pretty much everything it touches, the concern surrounding this deal was that the social media giant would go over the top of the SMS marketing industry and leverage ad space on the app. However, the linked article from Venture Beat we just shared does a great job breaking down exactly why that kind of thinking is closer to mass hysteria than it is to common sense.

First, and perhaps the biggest reason why WhatsApp gaining traction with Facebook doesn’t mean much to you, is the fact that this app makes its money from yearly subscriptions. The entire platform is based on a mantra which includes “no ads,” so customers couldn’t even sneak a peek at your offers while chatting with friends even if you wanted them to. After digesting this, the next little snippet from the article explains that WhatsApp isn’t even a big deal in the states. Ask yourself a quick question – before this story caught fire, did you even know what WhatsApp was? Don’t worry, neither did most people.

What is important for SMS marketing as a whole is that Facebook has reaffirmed that having your brand be a part of messaging is a smart play in the long haul. As a population, we can’t get enough texting – to the point that some people don’t even bother making phone calls at all anymore. While your company might not spend $19 billion to stay in touch with consumers like Facebook did, using messaging to build brand awareness puts you in some pretty good company.

What Facebook Hopes to Gain

As far as Facebook itself is concerned, the marketing industry is still a little unsure of what to make of the whole deal. Across the pond, some experts believe that WhatsApp’s popularity is here to stay, but question if Facebook is really going to get its money’s worth out of this blockbuster deal. While there’s no doubt that WhatsApp has a big time following, is there really more room for growth? Some of the best minds in the business aren’t so sure.

Bringing things back a little closer to familiar territory is Forbes magazine’s interesting take on the value debate. Basically, author Thomas Goodwin isn’t even sure if WhatsApp was Facebook’s first choice. After failing to hammer out a deal with Snapchat, which is definitely a bigger deal in the U.S. than WhatsApp, some industry insiders view this purchase as a bit of a consolation prize. While we’ll never really know the truth – until some disgruntled ex-employee leaks the juicy details about the boardroom debates that most definitely preceded this deal – it is pretty interesting to soak up some of the speculation and wonder just how much of an impact Facebook is really expecting from this whole thing.

Thinking Long-term

If you just want to trim this whole discussion down into a single sentence, this one should do the trick: SMS marketing isn’t going anywhere, and Facebook spending the big bucks on a messaging service just reaffirms the fact that contacting people, like your target audience, this way is definitely a strong channel for building your brand. Now that you’ve had a moment to breathe and understand what’s really going on with WhatsApp, think long-term with where you want your mobile marketing campaign to go and keep your eyes on that target – it’s the best strategy you’ve got in a world where everyone’s ready to overreact at the latest breaking news.

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When it comes to your customers, you probably wish you had a way to read their minds and find out what they really want from a great marketing campaign. Unfortunately, the technology required to tap into personal thoughts isn’t quite on the market. Instead, you’ll have to rely on some more indirect, yet still effective methods to get the job done. At the top of this list is the email survey. With this tool in hand, your company can gain some serious insight into the inner workings of the collective conscious of your targeted audience – provided you go about the process in the correct manner. To make sure you get the most out of your survey, take a moment to look over some of the finer points of gauging consumer interest with this method.

Plan a Smart Survey

To start the process, look at what goes into an effective survey. According to Qualtrics, a data management and collection firm, a strong survey hits on four prime measurements via the compiled questions. Perceived quality, which helps define what the customer received, is the most important factor according to this firm. From here, gauging consumer loyalty – specifically if the customer would recommend your brand to friends and family – as well as the important details that led to their final decision on a purchase, come up next. Finally, checking for the potential for repeat business rounds out the process and gives you an idea of where your products and services currently stand with the shopper.

Get Creative with Your Survey

Once you have the basic question outline in hand, the next step in building a great customer survey to ship out after your email marketing campaign centers around engaging your reader’s curiosity and interests. While many companies understand the proper line of questioning to extract this information, they drop the ball with a dull and boring survey. To avoid having your email offering fall flat on its face, think about how you can spice up your survey to draw in the interest of the shopper.

Incorporating something fun, useful, or creative is the key to hammering this point home. For instance, look at a recent offering from online fashion boutique ModCloth. This design shop quickly realized that most of their customers probably weren’t that interested in a boring email that contained a generic marketing survey. Instead, the company repackaged this questionnaire into a fun and engaging style quiz that gathered the same information, but received a considerably larger amount of responses than what it expected from a typical survey. Naturally, tailoring this offering to your industry will require a little creative thinking. However, you can guarantee that your customers will take note of your hard work and reward you with this valuable information accordingly.

Ensure an Ongoing Process

Of course, a survey doesn’t do you much good if you simply roll it out once and waste the information you’ve gathered. With this in mind, Entrepreneur.com suggests that to get the most out of your email marketing and consumer survey approach, take action when you can. This means adjusting your offerings and services to boost consumer interest and letting these shoppers know you care about their opinions. A great way to do this is with a follow-up email detailing your company’s appreciation of their involvement and a description of upcoming changes and improvements to your products and services.

With all of this information on your side, rolling out a strong survey can give you all the tools you need to keep up with your targeted audience. To start, plan a survey that keys in on top concerns like consumer loyalty and the perceived quality of your products and services. Once you have this in hand, finding a fun or creative way of getting your message across can help you get more responses and help ensure that you keep your customers engaged and providing information as new iterations of your survey hit their inboxes.

Feedback

 

I have been consulting about social media since it was brand new. I remember when people moved from MySpace to this thing called Facebook…. and, at that time, Facebook was really easy to use with limited options. :)

When social media was just emerging, CBC created a documentary called “The Selling Game” that profiled some of the groundbreaking work we were doing with Sauza Tequila & Facebook. It was new, different, and hadn’t been done before.

Since that time, I have probably had a thousand conversations with organizations and brands of all sizes from all over the world about how to properly use social media, develop a good content calendar, measuring social ROI, and more.

Throughout all those conversations, I have always seen the different stages the leadership teams go through, especially when it’s their first time dipping their tool into the social media ecosystem.

So, when I saw this graphic from one of my favorite bloggers, Tom Fishburne, I had to post it here. He just captures each phase so perfectly!

Stages of Social Network Adoption

 

Email Marketing Fuels Social Media Campaigns

Email marketing and social media are keys to online business success. This is true for both small and large businesses alike; the problem most have is effectively integrating the two.

Many use social media to drive traffic to landing pages and signup forms in order to build their email lists. From there, they start their email marketing campaigns. This is effective, but email can also be used to help fuel a social media campaign.

Here are five tactics to make email a driving force for successful social media campaigns.

Include Social Components In Email Newsletters

Elite Email allow social profiles to be included in each email template. When setting up a newsletter, including social profiles does two things:

  1. It allows the recipients of an email to share it with their friends on their preferred social networks.
  2. It also gives recipients an opportunity to connect with a brand on social media by following that brand’s account or page, opening an additional channel for communication and engagement.

As the online space becomes more crowded, competition for attention is fierce and brands need to take every opportunity available to them to get in front of their target customers. When someone who has already opted in to receive emails chooses to follow and engage with a brand on social media, it increases the chances that they will help to spread that brand’s messages to their social contacts.

This is the online equivalent to word-of-mouth advertising. People still trust the recommendations of their friends more than any other form of marketing.

The other way to make emails social is to include hash tags. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all make use of the hash tag feature to keep up with a particular topic. If a brand is launching a new campaign with a heavy emphasis on social media, they should have a topic picked out that they will create a hash tag for.

It could be the topic itself, or a related word or term that fits that topic. Whatever it is, it should be included along with graphics and videos in emails to encourage sharing, the use of hash tags and further engagement.

Give An Idea Of What People Can Expect On Each Social Site

When sending an email with the intention of boosting a social media campaign, users may want to know what will be different from the normal email and website content they are used to.

Creative emails may include videos, images or gifs that show users what they can expect to find on social media. It may be a contest, special deals and offers only shared with followers on social media, or even non-promotional content meant to build a brand.

It doesn’t really matter what the campaign entails. The only thing that matters is that people know what they are about to see, and that it is interesting enough for them to engage with it.

For most people, choosing to engage with a brand on social media is a step lower in terms of commitment than giving their email address. They are most likely already getting a steady stream of emails on a daily basis and can get overwhelmed.

Taking the opportunity to lighten things up and provide some sort of incentive to engage socially is a great idea. Not only does it change the dynamic of the brand-customer relationship, it also gives brands an opportunity to get more personal feedback on what is working and what isn’t.

Tell People What You Want Them To Do

A strong call-to-action is often the missing element in getting a conversion of any type. People don’t always know it, but they need to be told what to do.

If a brand includes social sharing with their email newsletters, they should tell users exactly what to do. Including a call-to-action in the email with directions to like a brand on Facebook, tweet an email newsletter to their friends, use a hash tag for discussions or follow on Instagram is a surefire way to increase social activity between target customers and brands.

Don’t just include icons or use a short line like “This email can be shared” at the end of a paragraph or at the bottom of a newsletter. Use clear instructions like “This email can be shared with your friends, click the Twitter icon to tweet it now.”

While it would seem that most people online would know what to do, many don’t. And those that do will often look past the sharing icon and eventually close the email. Tell them what to do and they are more likely to do it.

Make Your Landing Pages Social

Since most email is sent with the intention of getting the recipient to click a link to take them to a landing page, those pages need to be social media friendly as well.

Instead of including the sharing icons at the top of each post or in a scrolling bar to the side, begin each page with a social call-to-action. There may be an incentive, such as unlocking content on a blog post or getting access to a discount code. Likewise, there may be no incentive and simply the direction to share with friends. By building your Facebook and social media profiles (there are many companies that help with this), and by optimizing your landing page call to actions, you will improve your conversion rate significantly.

Each campaign is different, but if the purpose of a particular email or sequence of emails is to fuel a social media campaign, then each action a user takes should reflect that.

Use Email To Test Headlines

Headlines are vital to attracting visitors, getting email opens and earning social shares. The best usually evoke some form of emotion or pique curiosity.

If a business already has a large email subscriber list in place, they may want to test a sequence of emails on a topic related to their social campaign with different types of headlines.

From here, they can track open and click-throughs to determine what works best for their audience. People in different markets will respond differently to each type of headline. Some will open and click-through for headlines that appear urgent. Others will respond best to headlines posing a question. Some may even respond favorably to controversial topics included in headlines.

The key is to set up a sequence of emails leading up to a campaign and to track which headline received the most action. Once that data has been gathered, more effective headlines can be written for a social media campaign.

Bonus Tip

Use email to hint at something new on the horizon. It is not important to tell people that a new social campaign is starting, but to hint at something new and fun to watch out for.

This curiosity builds suspense and interest. These help to keep a brand in the minds of their audience, helping to ensure that whatever it is they do, people will take action o it once that new thing that has been hinted at actually happens.

Integrate All Channels To Maximize Success

Instead of focusing on one area as the main marketing focus, brands need to know how to use each one to fuel the other. Effective email marketing can drive social, just as effective social marketing can help fuel email.

 

Remember when this symbol, #, was just a pound sign on your phone or a quick way to write the word “number”? Now it is so much more to the point where many people see this symbol and it is so obviously a hashtag that “pound symbol” or “number” doesn’t even cross their mind!

Now this magical symbol represents a way to follow conversations related to a specific subject on popular social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

But, it’s time to add one more social network giant to the list of hashtag players, as Facebook recently announced their support of hashtags.

For a long time now you’ve probably seen hashtags on Facebook as people post their photos on Instagram (which Facebook owns) or when people post their status update on both Twitter & Facebook at the same time. However, these hashtags did nothing on the most popular social network beyond cluttering up everyone’s status updates.

The rumors started swirling around in March that Facebook was going to jump on the hashtag bandwagon and now all of these hashtags will become clickable adding a new layer onto the Facebook ecosystem.

In Facebook’s own words…

…hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic.

Here are the top three changes that Facebook hashtags empower users to do:

  • Perform searches for a specific hashtag from the search bar at the top of the screen. So, you can now search for #nfl, #gameofthrones, #bieber
  • Click on hashtags that appear in your friend’s status updates, even if it originated from another service such as Instagram
  • Compose new posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results

This is actually a big step forward (or step backwards for those that hate hashtags) for Facebook because it opens up the conversation to people that you are not already connected with. For instance, after the Game of Thrones “The Red Wedding”  my Facebook news feed exploded with my friends reacting to what happened on that episode, but I only saw what my friends were saying. Meanwhile, when I hopped over to Twitter, I essentially saw what the world was saying as I searched for the appropriate hashtag. Going forward, I could get a pulse on the overall global conversation by using the same hashtag search on Facebook and seeing what people are saying even if they are not one of my friends.

Of course, we may also notice an #excessive #amount #of #ridiculous #hashtagging now showing up on Facebook, but that is just the nature of the beast.

The question is, how can brands and marketers use this new Facebook feature?

I think there are really two sides to that coin: (1) Research & (2) Reach

Facebook Hashtags for Marketing Research

Facebook boasts the largest socially connected group on the entire planet and being able to “listen in” on that conversation can give marketers key insight. Whether it’s attitudes, opinions, or reactions, monitoring the global conversation can give marketers a true pulse on what the world is thinking and saying. And, that often can lead to actionable tactics for social savvy brands.

This has always been an avenue to explore on Twitter, but the important thing to note is that the Facebook audience makes up a different demographic…. and this means insight into new & different minds. According to recent studies, a little more than 30% of Facebook users are younger than 34, while 45% are older than 45. If we compare that to Twitter, we see a much younger demographic where nearly 50% of users are under 34 and only 30% are older than 45.

My point here is not to abandon Twitter as a source of market research, but to add Facebook into the mix to get a larger perspective from a different demographic. Doing an analysis on both networks can produce a deeper understanding of the conversations that are happening.

Even if you’re a small business without a dedicated social agency to conduct monitoring for you, you can do a quick hashtag search on both Facebook and Twitter for terms related to your products, industry or services to see what people are saying. Just a quick skim of the results page will give you a sense of what, if anything, is being discussed. And, depending on what you find, it may give you a good opportunity to jump into the conversation, which is a lovely segway to my next point…

Reach a Wider Audience By Engaging With Hashtags

Marketers and brands want to spread their message on social networks and get as much engagement and impressions as possible. While the vehicle has changed, the general idea of impressions and reach for marketers is the same terminology & goal that has been used for TV, radio and out-of-home advertising for years and years. The introduction of Facebook hashtags is a way for marketers to really extend that reach a lot further by injecting themselves in a conversation being tracked by hashtags.

For example, all eyes are turned on the upcoming game 7 in the NBA finals between the Heat & Spurs. If you’re an online retailer ready to sell “(Insert Team Name Here) NBA Champions 2013″, previously you could have posted your “now on sale” announcement on Facebook as soon as the game ended and all the people who have liked your page would see it. This gave you good reach, which is why marketers love Facebook. Now, however, that can be put on turbo. Going forward when you post that status update you can hashtag it with #nbafinals #nbachampionship #heat #spurs , etc. Now all of a sudden you not only reach the same audience who has liked your page, but also anyone who searches for these sure-to-be-trending hashtags. This means a lot more impressions and a far greater reach.

It is important that marketers give some though to how they want to use hashtags to become involved in the larger conversation. Remember, just like with SEO where you need to pick your keywords, in the social hashtag world (which now includes Facebook), you need to pick your hashtags wisely. This is not to say you can make a really bad choice, but hashtags work based on what people search for. So, if everyone is searching for #nbachampions, but you’ve opted to hashtag #nbawinners, you’ll get a lot less reach & impressions.

 

Of course, the days, weeks and months ahead will really show us how marketers and brands are capitalizing on this change. Many are speculating this will be a game-changer for Facebook, but we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.

Keep in mind, for those sharing their email newsletters using Elite Email’s social sharing features, you can include hashtags to get extra eyes on your most recent email blast.

Facebook Hashtag

 

I’ve always been a proponent that email marketing and social media go hand-in-hand. In the world we live in today, it’s all about communication & relationship building, and both email marketing & social media act as different channels for engaging in conversation. All organizations should not be playing in just one of these sandboxes, but should be actively involved in all of them to ensure their brand runs the gauntlet of where customers might be looking for them.

I remember a time not too long ago when a “tweet” meant nothing at all and no one had heard of this thing called Twitter. Now Twitter has announced that half-way through 2011, Twitter users are sending 200 million tweets per day. That is written as 200,000,000… that’s a lot of Tweets! Assuming everyone is maxing out their 140 characters, that means that over the Twitter-sphere is about 28 billion characters per day.

Just to give context to the growth of Twitter, in January 2009, there was about 2 million tweets per day. Now, according to Twitter’s blog post, with this 200 million milestone, the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book in Tweets every single day!

Is your organization actively tweeting? Do you have a Facebook page where your customers can connect with you?

I know it can sometimes be difficult to find something to say, but did you know that you can easily share your email newsletters from Elite Email on Twitter, Facebook and any other social network?

Right after you send your email, it can be published to the web using the Email-2-Web feature in your account. This gives you a dedicated URL for your email. Many people use this to link to past emails from their website, or link to last month’s newsletter in this month’s newsletter, but you can also use it to feed content into your social networks.

[Tip: If you are sending private content, you can deactivate the Email-2-Web feature so it is not published online.]

All you have to do is grab the URL to your email from the Email-2-Web page and then post it right to Twitter, Facebook or any other social network.

Any interactions that occur on the web-version of your email will still track in your reports. But, unlike with email contacts, you won’t be able to see the detailed information about who is clicking because once it’s in the social network universe, it really could be anyone.

When someone visits the web version of your email, it can easily be re-shared using the social sharing links that are automatically added to the bottom for you.

I strongly suggest you get in the habit of sending your email to your mailing list and then sharing it on the various social networks.

This isn’t to say your email content will go viral, since it might not be as captivating as that “Friday” song we’ve all come to love (hehe), but it will definitely extend your reach beyond the inbox.

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Blog Admin